The Legendary Kogi & Their Wisdom

This is part one of three personal stories about my Shamanic journey to Colombia December 2016. Other posts include a Wondrous Heart Opening and The Many Cristina’s

A super long post so it’s broken into sections and certain topics in bold for you to find as you scroll through. I have some great environmental recourse links at the end…. I wanted this up before too much time had passed – many of the wisdoms and experiences with the Kogi are still processing within me so the wording and editing is hard for me to find…apologies….

Who Are The Kogi?
The Kogi, our Elder Siblings, the Guardians of Mother Earth are living in what they consider the “Heart of the World”. They have a profound wisdom about nature that could very well make everyone rethink their ideas on the environment and the universe. They offer us solutions that are so simple – to connect, ground and respect the earth or “Aluna” what they call Mother Earth, Ocean Mama and Father Universe. They have a presence that commands respect and opens your heart and worldview boundlessly.

The power of their wisdom and energy is humbling. They live in the Colombian Sierra Nevada Mountains but few people outside of Colombia know who they are and what they represent and now is the time they have chosen to come out and share their hearts to teach us in hopes of saving our planet.

They are the direct decedents of the Tarona tribe who fled up to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to escape servitude – the Conquistadors never conquered them in the 500th century so their culture is pure. Since the 1988 documentary From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers’ Warning (Kogi message) they have not let many into their community, let alone to stay with them, until now. Our group lead by John Perkins, Daniel Koupermann and Jaruen were invited to stay in one of their communities for a night to partake in ceremonies and teachings. They invited us into their sacred ceremonial lands and spaces.

Before we could enter their community they had us purify ourselves – discussed further on in Ceremonies and Offerings in this post. In the morning a beautiful Moma, Manual, invited us into a sacred space for the men and the honor we felt was palpable. Within this sacred hut he told us that we are now accepted into their hearts and that they consider us friends – there was not a dry eye in the house! To be apart of this historic trip of meeting and staying with them was amazing in itself but the openness and acceptance of us into their hearts is beyond what I can express. I will take this opportunity to honor our group. We had a collective purity and openness of heart – we were all there with respect and honor towards them and I believe they recognized that. Massive amounts of gratitude to the amazingly beautiful souls I traveled who are pictured on this post.

We had the great honor of meeting with them 3 other times for teachings and ceremonies, one which was unexpected so it was a beautiful sign that we were / are in harmony with their purpose.

The Kogi are now ready to actively teach us and share their wisdom…we must listen. Some will not like what they hear because it can be a hard pill to swallow when you recognize your participation in doing harm to the earth and our fellow man, it was for me, and that’s ok. But this bitter pill is what will allow us to accept their truths. We are ready to accept truth when we are ready but I encourage you to reflect on their wisdom. It is worth mentioning that to become a Moma / Shaman you are chosen at the age of 1-2 years old and for the next 25 years endure intense training. The Kogi people honor their own wisdom, they practice what they preach in such a deep way and we can all learn from that – major respect!

Kogi Wisdoms
The Kogi busted open my mind and energy and gave me such wisdom about earth and life. Man I thought I was so connected to earth but they tore apart that illusion! I do not mean to diminish any of my past connections with Aluna – it’s been a constant in my life since childhood and earth has helped me and me it but they way the Kogi speak about it is unlike anything I have ever heard. When they speak it’s as if you are receiving an energy transmission so you are not only hearing the information you are feeling it – many of my fellow travelers commented on this.

One of the main messages was how we are destroying our earth. They talked about how every step we take greatly affects the world around us. In cities we may not take notice of this but in nature it’s more obvious. Getting in touch with how we affect our world is a crucial part in creating positive change, not just for the planet but also for our internal landscape. The solution is a deeper connection with earth.

My friend Theresa got to ask one of the Moma’s what he thought were the most import things we can do and, “He said the most important thing to share with family & friends is to encourage everyone to become more connected with nature – to spend more time out in it, to plant our own food – but essentially to reconnect so that our love & respect for our planet can grow.”

It is our duty to accept responsibility for the damage we have done and continue to do. They spoke of how we hurt the earth through explosions just to get minerals, to get crystals, and the tears uncontrollably streamed down my face as I realized my participation in this damage. I tried to explain what I do in my business and asked how I could change my ways. If you pick up a stone yourself and ask permission it is ok they said but to mindlessly collect pretty shinny stones is supporting the desolation of our Mother Earth. I clearly see my part in hurting the earth and I am ashamed. John said to me, and I paraphrase, I really do feel your pain but there is nothing you can do about the past so let that go and re-evaluate how you move forward. I am fully committed to changing my personal ways, how I sell and present my T&T crystals and in encouraging others to do the same, as gently as I can. Most of us have awareness about the harm and destruction from diamond mines but not about crystals, I didn’t, and now I know the same harm is being done. Especially because crystals popularity has sored and even in my beauty industry it has become a major trend thus creating more demand which then creates harsher extraction practices and treatment to the workers. By Kogi standards anything that is not offered to you from the earth directly is not good. I am still processing this and figuring out how to ethically continue my crystal use. I have tons of crystals in stock for sale and in my oil blends. I have apologized to them since I am home. The crystals I use for healings are fine because I have a deep relationship with those guys – my personal crystals are given lots of love and gratitude. But until I figure it all out I will be asking anyone who wants to buy my crystals to do so with the awareness that they are a life force given to us by Mother earth. I want to bring an awareness of deep gratitude in hopes anyone with crystals will value and honor them in a deeper way.

I found it amazing to hear their thoughts on happiness. They say if you are unhappy in life you are not connected to earth. We all get so busy we forget to slow down and evaluate how we really are. My friend Theresa reminded me about what Jared, a great guy in our group, asked about their definition of success and they didn’t fully understand that concept in the way he was asking because their concept of success is passing on their wisdom and honoring the earth but his take away is worth sharing. He said he thought he’d been doing things the right way based on our measure of success but knows now that means nothing. And that more importantly, we throw our elders away, cast them aside and ignore them instead of learning all that we can from them and passing it along to our children and grandchildren. Sharing the wisdom of the elders is one of their highest missions.

From my own research on happiness I know in cultures where elders are respected and included with their families and communities their lives are extended and happier, and the meaning of those around them is increased.

They say above all else they respect and honor woman because we give life and they believe that it is only the woman who hold the wisdom to tell the men STOP, you have gone too far and this currently has implications to every aspect of every sentient being. So calling all ladies, we have to empower ourselves and value ourselves enough to know our words have meaning and will help change the world. Many men will support us in this effort but it’s the men who do not like this that we must find a way to reach. I would ask you to evaluate how you can contribute to shapeshifting our world into a place of love and harmony. Remember everything counts, there are no small acts!

Women Supporting Women
We keep learning lessons in life but in our openness learn them in a deeper way as we move forward. On this trip the importance of woman supporting woman deepened. My friend Jonelle said we have a new collective paradigm to support and nurture each other and she and another girlfriend, Theresa, showed me that support during this journey. Each of them on an important journey to fully come into their power and they are inspiring. Many modern cultures have somehow lost much of this but not the Kogi.

This is an important time for woman – in my energy medicine world we speak about this being a time of the matriarch. It is time for us to be empowered and help heal the world and by supporting each other, and by sharing our hearts we inspire each other. John was very encouraging to all the women in the group to speak out and share our stories because now is the time we need women’s wisdom and the way to optimize that is by us celebrating, supporting and empowering each other.

A collective energy has been birthed out of our trip. I believe we can help the Kogi keep and share their wisdom and that more and more people will awaken to their message. We can shapeshift our world to one of loving-kindness and respect, not our current state of mindlessness and destruction. I think if we are all honest with ourselves we will see how we contribute to our disposable society. Gentleness is required to get some people to change because who wants to admit they are hurting themselves, their loved loves and our planet – it’s not easy to look at but this truth and the awareness can transform our lives on every level and just maybe we can co-create a harmonious, healthy and happy planet.

Our Disposable Lives
As I said some of these are hard lessons or adjustments to make, we all like to go out and grab a Starbucks or buy new cloths instead of mending the old ones. It’s easier for busy people to order in or eat frozen food instead of making it themselves. We are living disposable lives so from that point of view how can expect our internal world not to be just as disposable? We are not disposable and need to value ourselves more. The Kogi say the only answer to all this is to deepen our connection to earth, to constantly make offerings, to be aware of what we take and what we give back…this is not dissimilar to the other indigenous people I’ve had the honor of learning from. The time to listen to the indigenous voice has come!

The following are all questions I am personally revisiting thanks to the Kogi. What do you give yourself? What do you give away? Do you love and honor yourself and if so how? Do you value your life and gifts and again if so how? Do you respect yourself? Do you respect our planet? How do you treat your body? Do you honor your elders? Do you have compassion for your fellow man? What do have that you really do not need? What can you do without in order to help others? All these questions should be deeply pondered in an honest way because if you are open to seeing where improvements can be made you can and will transform yourself and those around you to have a more loving harmonious, meaningful and joyful life.

Honoring Life
We must recognize these indigenous tribes have a wisdom that has been lost to many of us. So many of us are separated from the earth that literally breathes life into us. My friend explained to me how if you turn a tree upside down or the lungs right-side up they look almost exactly alike – the trees literally are our lungs and our lungs the trees. That every breath we take in is receiving the yin of life and every exhale the giving yang of life – I hope I am getting that right, will correct if need be. The idea is clear to me though…that with every breath we are connected to nature, to earth and there is no separation between anything so if we dishonor the earth, nature, we dishonor ourselves. When we hurt the earth we hurt ourselves. The opposite is true as well – we can care for Aluna we heal her. There are so many ways to do this and doing some good old fashion earthing and earth hugging is a great place to start! So is mindful breathing! You can set the intent that with every breath you are feeding life and love into our world.

There is no green without blue; no blue without green…just as there is no “us” without a healthy environment. We must protect our oceans and forests for without them we will perish – the tipping point has arrived and it is time to take action. Some ideas of how to do this are listed at the end of this post.

Ceremonies and Offerings
From other indigenous experiences I know how important making offerings are to the Aluna. The Mayan’s also speak about how we have to honestly look at what we take from earth and what we give back. We must make offerings for what we take from the earth and from any energy we draw from. There must always be an equal and balanced exchange of energy. If you feel there has not been an equal exchange you may want to try a forgiveness cerimony the Mayan’s taught us or do the Cotton offering I speak about below.

Cotton Offerings and Strings of Achievement
Before entering the first Kogi village we were given a small piece of cotton and told to put all our negativity, worries and unneeded energy into it, which we then gave back to them. They would later bury this cotton. This signified our purity to enter their village and we received a simple but beautiful sting around our wrists to signify our purity of heart and energy.

Before we left this same Kogi village we were asked to put all our apologies to the earth into another piece of cotton. It was raining hard and they said this was a great sign from Aluna that she received and accepted our “sorrys”. This one got me big time. I wasn’t expecting it to be so effortless, I held the cotton in my hand and instantly tears of sorrow began to fall, it felt cleansing to take responsibility for the damage I have done and for what we have all done to our mother earth. I kept saying I am sorry I am sorry and I felt the earth accept my apology, which is currently beyond words for me.

The last Kogi ceremony we had was on a beach that has a lagoon on one side and ocean on the other, magic yet again. There where many sacred Kogi stones, the number nine has great significance to them and in this place were nine holes in large stones, and they said if our intentions were true the water in the holes would begin to bubble and spin clockwise. We were asked to place our sacred items on the sacred stone. We were with the Kogi Moma, Juan, his pregnant wife and his son who is a moma in training and we got to witness the father teaching the son how to make an offering – allowing us to see this was an honor beyond words!

The Kogi Moma asked us to ask the universe for enlightenment and I write about this in my heart opening post but it’s important to mention here as well since it’s a Kogi ceremony. I found the wording I needed “Let the light of enlightenment flow through me” but I felt something was missing; I needed to offer something in return. I offered the universe my fully open divine femininity and the message was received and my journey deepened. I opened and connected in a way that I can’t fully express. It was an ecstatic feeling that I connect with daily now.

During this ceremony I did feel the light come into me and I was laying on the sand, head on a sacred stone and I realized suddenly a stone was in my hand and that it felt soft and feminine – it was soothing like a stress stone. I felt it was a gift from Aluna. I heard the moma family behind me so I open my eyes to look back sensing the ceremony was coming to an end and the moma (shaman) looked me right in the eyes and nodded to me as if to say YES – I felt like he saw my connection and I enjoyed that moment of recognition. We received two cotton bracelets this time with a little bead on it, they hold such value to me, and I never want them to fall away….

During our surprise invitation to another Kogi village, later that day, the moma asked us to put 9 wishes into the cotton he gave to use. He said they would then be taken high into the Sierra Nevada Mountains to be buried in the earth – to plant the seeds of our wishes. He invited us into their “school” and spent a fair amount of time explaining the meaning of their sacred items – the experience felt very special. Beautiful. Grateful.

Cotton Ceremony At Home
You can easily do this cotton purification ceremony on your own – I have since I’ve been home. You take a cotton ball, organic is best, and sit outside on nature, or by a house plant if you live in a city, and meditate on what you want to let go of, or apologize for or wish for. I meditate on this for about 10 minutes and then bury the cotton or throw it in water, and on one occasion I flushed it down the toilet – intention is everything! You then turn in a 360-degree clockwise circle and then counter clockwise 360 degrees and your done. Always thank earth / nature for absorbing what you have let go of and the earth will then happily transform it back into pure source energy.

How We Can Help The Kogi

Giving Money To Their Mission
They are in a dire situation where some of the communities that are in the highest parts of the mountains are starving because of infertile soil. They are still recovering from having been abused by the Colombian farmers, the FARC and mainly the right wing Paramilitaries since the beginning of the republic. In the 60´s they were abused for the marijuana plantations and then after that for the coca plantations.

Now the Colombian government has controlled the illegal activities in the area, and this is why the Kogi’s can now come back to their ancestral lands in the lower part of Sierra Nevada where agriculture is viable, as well the weather, and maybe they can have access to some basic health services.

One of the Kogi’s biggest missions right now is to share and preserve their wisdom. Jaruen, our local guide was super open, sweet and is close with the Kogi – he had taken a couple of them into his home when they were in danger from the Narco’s. He said too much wisdom is dying with their elders and they need to find a way to get around to all of the Mamos/Elders and glean as much of their wisdom as possible, not just for themselves for future generations. He said they would require financial support to provide the transportation and resources they need to travel to various villages. Jared asked if they’d rather have money for land or money for transportation and Jaruen said buying back the land was most important because then they could live together and share the wisdom on a daily basis. He said that they would view success as being able to harness and relay all of that wisdom. To me this shows their incredible purity of heart.

Our current goal is to raise $10,000, which would buy almost 4 HECTARES (10 ACRES) of land for them. This is a private fundraising effort through people in direct contact with them who I personally know and vouch for – every dollar will go directly to them and used only for this purpose. We can promise this is the best and fastest way to help them achieve their goals. If we do this through two organizations that are trying to help them there will be red tape and paperwork that will hold up the process and time is of the essence.

Every dollar you offer is priceless! They will be able to share their important messages with more people and this will shift the world’s perspective about earth and our own lives in the best possible way.

Thank you in advance for helping us with this sacred mission!

To Support This Mission
Your donations will go to a private fund set up by a member of our group, Farrah, who will keep updating the website for now. Make all donations payable to the PayPal account – friend@landforthekogi.com and if you are not comfortable with PayPal please contact me directly and I can put you in touch with our local contact, Daniel Koupermann, or I can pass it on myself – we can find a way.

Help Honor And Share Their Message
I hope I was able to relay some of their wisdom here but please also check out the BBC Documentary as well as John Perkins Blog about this trip.

Preserve Nature
I would ask you to look around your immediate community and see how you can help preserve nature and earth itself. Even in NYC there are ways to do this with Green Roofs and Community Gardens so I know outside the city your efforts will be easily achieved.

Be conscious of your Eco Footprint. When I measured mine I was shocked!

Learn about Earth Energies.

Learn to Connect With Earth.

In Colombia I’d like to find a way to help to stop Don Diego River being dammed up. That is the river we floated down on tubes and it was filled with life in and around it. It was also a gathering spot for the locals. At one point we passed a small beach where families had gathered to connect in song, dance and fun and it really made a lot of us think wow you might look at where these people live and think how sad, they are so poor but that is our false perception. They have everything – love, community and natures gifts. If this river is dammed up all of those guys who carried our luggage up and down the river and the men who kept us “in bounds” on the river would all be out of a job and that the village would cease to exist without the revenue generated from the tubing experience. So damming up a river is not just the loss of a beautiful nature reserve it is ending the livelihood of those beautiful people. I am throwing this out to the universe and would love to hear from anyone who is able to let me know ways to support this not happening! Thank you.